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Are They Ready for the Next Step? Bridging High School to College
by Martha Daly, formerly with Connelly School of the Holy Child, Potomac MD
I was the librarian at Connelly School of the Holy Child in Potomac, MD for 15 years, opening a new library in 2002. I belong to numerous professional organizations and am currently the non-public school representative to the Maryland K-12 Digital Library Project. I received an MLS from the University of Maryland and was a fellow in the Leadership in Technology program at Harvard. Prior to becoming a librarian, I taught school in grades 6-12 in the US and overseas.
A quick look at mission statements found on independent school websites finds certain phrases repeated, including preparing students for the 21st century or for life-long learning. Ask any school librarian to tell you how integral the library’s role is in fulfilling the mission of the school. Buzz words of most educational trends in the last thirty years such as critical thinking, affective learning, problem-based learning, and even time management are concepts that have been part of the library information skills program all along. So the library’s mission is inextricably linked to the school’s mission. How are we doing? Are we succeeding in preparing our students for the next stage of learning? How will we know if we are succeeding? The assumption, even if it is not specifically noted in the school’s name, is that students are being prepared for college where their education will continue. Let us consider the standards and practices of high school libraries, the skills needed for college as perceived by college librarians and professors, and what we can do to close any gap identified between high school and college information literacy skills. We know we can make our students college eligible, but our goal is to make them college ready with skills they will need to succeed.